Recently I went shopping with my daughter. We both had special occasions to go to and needed new underwear, so we shopped at one of the major retailers. The experience was good and the salesperson was thorough. She was genuinely interested in us and getting us the right product.
What I did find fascinating came a little later in the sale. I had picked up some extra underwear and the salesperson suggested another brand that she had heard was good and was now on sale (It was a real bargain). So I proceeded to buy quite a few because they were cheap. She tried to stop me for two reasons: I hadn’t tried them on, and what if they weren’t right? This hadn’t worried me, so why should it worry her? I know she was trying to be helpful and save me money. The difference here is that she was selling to me based on her view of the world, not mine.
This is a mistake that many salespeople make. They sell based on their thinking, beliefs, and values. We all have a different Map of Reality: each person’s unique representation of the world built from his or her individual perceptions and experiences. So I may pay $100 for my Wolford stockings because I think they are worth it, but your belief and past experience may be that you always put holes in your stockings and they never last. You may buy them from Woolworths and pay no more than $10, so in your mind I am crazy to pay so much more.
In sales there is no room for the salesperson’s beliefs and past experiences if they don’t match the client’s. I know that sounds harsh since their job is to sell me what I, as the client, need/want based on the questions they ask and the answers I give.
So if we go back to the underwear, I should have been encouraged to buy more because in my mind they were such a bargain. The salesperson was more concerned about how much I had spent that day than I was.
Sometimes salespeople can do the client a disservice by not selling them enough because they are basing the client spend on how they spend money when shopping.
In sales it is important to find out how the client thinks – their beliefs, their values, and what is important to them. That is how you can help them make the best decision for themselves when buying.
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